Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team split an MIAA double-header today, losing game one 3-2, but taking game two 5-2 behind a strong pitching performance from Brett Abell.
Southern (9-10, 5-9 MIAA) saw a pair of good pitching performances today as freshman Payton Walker went the distance in game one and struck out three, allowing just two earned runs to pick up the hard-luck loss. In game two, Abell went all nine, striking out 12 and walking none, allowing just one earned run to pick up the win.
In game one, Truman (5-13, 5-12 MIAA) jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first two innings, scoring runs on a fielder's choice and an RBI ground out, respectively. The Bulldogs added an unearned run in the sixth to go up 3-0.
The Lions wouldn't go away, however, as the Lions loaded the bases in the seventh. Dallas Burke had an RBI ground out and the Lions added another unearned run, but couldn't complete the comeback.
In game two, the Lions got on top first with a run in the third when Burke picked up his second home run of the year with a bomb to right-center. An RBI single from Michael McCoy in the fifth put the Lions up 2-0, before Truman added a run each in the sixth and seventh to tie the game at two.
A three-run eighth, however, would give the Lions the win. Southern loaded the bases with no one out and Sam Ryan singled up the middle scoring McCoy. Helsel added an RBI ground out scoring Wilson and Nick Doughty laid down a suicide squeeze scoring Burke for the third out of the inning.
Abell finished off the game by striking out his 12th batter of the game to complete the game.
McCoy and Wilson both went 2-4 in the game. McCoy added a run scored and an RBI, while Wilson scored once. Burke had a home run, two runs scored and an RBI, while Ryan and Helsel drove in a run each.
The Lions and Bulldogs will finish the three game series tomorrow morning with a single, nine-inning game. The game time has been moved up to 11 am to try to beat the rain coming in.